Dubuque paramedics asking for bullet-proof vests - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque paramedics asking for bullet-proof vests

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Paramedics with the Dubuque Fire Department might soon get body armor.

It'll keep them safe if they ever have to respond to violent scenes like shootings, where many people are hurt.

Kyle Reinert who's been a paramedic with the department for two years, said it's needed.

"Certainly there's always those calls or instances that we're dealing with, that strike us as more dangerous than others,  and those instances we're usually waiting for the police department  to show up to assist us with securing the scene."

Paramedics want to get there to help, but also must to keep their own safety in mind.  

The department is asking the city for $9,500 as part of the FY2019 budget to buy the protective gear. "It involves a ballistic helmet, a vest and then knee pads, a set for up to 10 personnel," said Fire Chief Rick Steines.

"They would be capable of stopping the rounds that police departments encounter, so high-powered rifle rounds, that we're seeing across the nation used," added Reinert.

The gear would also allow emergency responders to act more quickly, not having to wait on police to clear the scene or enter a building, in order to save lives.

If approved, the gear would likely be purchased in the late summer.

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